By DON STINE
The old Wardell-Welsh dairy house on Old Corlies Avenue in Neptune will probably be razed, township officials said at this week’s Township Committee meeting.
Mayor Nicholas Williams said that the building, at 703 Old Corlies Ave., is “in pretty tough shape.”
“I don’t think we should put money into rehabilitating it. A park will be something where everybody can come and enjoy it. (The house) is just an eyesore now,” he said.
Township business Administrator Vito Gadaleta said the old house, which is more than 100 years old, would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to renovate, is not handicapped accessible, and has asbestos concerns.
“From a functional and economic point of view it should be demolished and the site used for recreational opportunities. This money could be used to better purposes,” he said.
Gadaleta estimates the cost to raze the house at around $25,000 to $35,000.
He said there is a nearby baseball field and walking trails already near the site
“So, this is a great recreational opportunity,” he said.
The eastern section of the 6.46-acre site has already been developed with an award-winning veteran’s memorial park.
“The solitude there is just incredible- just fabulous,” Gadaleta said.
Deputy Mayor Carol Rizzo suggested that a gazebo, a picnic area, and possible recreational uses, like a bocce court, be put on the site.
Previous administrations have advocated saving the old house using grant money. The present house, which replaced an older house, was built between May, 1910 and January, 1913.
Neptune purchased the 6.46-acre Welsh dairy tract years ago with the intent of making it a passive, open-space park with the veteran’s memorial park. It was zoned for light-industrial use.
The tract was originally the Wardell dairy- the oldest-operating dairy in Monmouth County- until it closed after merging with Welsh Farms in 1975. It is the largest undeveloped tract on Old Corlies Avenue and has been vacant for years. The property was never a farm, always a dairy.